Coming up for hearing: on 7th June, 2022
Application filed: on 8th July, 2021.
Rules: 4, 5, 52 of the East African Court of Justice Rules of Procedure, 2019.
Subject matter: Seeking leave to file document out of time.
The Applicant, the Attorney General of Uganda seeks court orders for the time frame to be enlarged within which to file and serve the response to the reference out of time and that the Response to the Reference be filed and served to the Respondent and for it be validated.
The Applicant filed the application on the grounds that the application has been filed without unnecessary delay and that the subject matter of this reference is of great public importance to the Republic of Uganda since it touches on the judicial and executive arms of the government. He further states that the administration of justice requires that the substances of all disputes should be investigated and decided on the merits and that errors and lapses should not debar the Applicant from pursuit of their rights.
The Applicant states that the person who was tasked by the Attorney General of Uganda to handle the case had placed the file among other files that were due for payment of court awards and compensation. The file was discovered by the accounts department who referred it to the registry and by that time ,the time within which to file and serve the response had since elapsed. When the applicant realized this, they went ahead and contacted the clients so that they can give new instructions to enable them respond to the reference. The imposition of lockdown in Uganda to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 virus and restricted movement of both private and public transport came with more challenges since they couldn’t meet with the clients to take up instructions and respond to the reference. However, the Applicant was able to file and serve its response on 30th June 2021 and served the Respondent on 8th July, 2021.
The Respondent however states that the reasons the Applicant is giving are false more so in paragraph 4-7 and that by the time the lockdown was imposed the Applicant had already defaulted the time frame required.
The Respondent also states that the reasons given by the applicant on paragraph 13-14 about the importance of the matter should be the reason why the application be dismissed and heard and determined as soon as possible.
The Respondent further states that the disputes can be investigated using the evidence already on record and failure to respond to the Reference is not a mere error or lapse but a substantive point.
This is a document produced by the Registry to assist in understanding forthcoming matters before the Court. It does not bind the Court. For authoritative Decisions, Judgments and general information about the Court please visit https://www.eacj.org